Like most of the fans at Citizen Field this week, Phil and Cheryl Hunter have climbed on board the Team Canada bandwagon at the World Baseball Challenge.
The Hunters haven't had a whole lot to cheer about, with Canada still looking for its first win at the tournament, but they're still having fun and they're keeping watch on the family.
Three of their clan are wearing red and white national team colours.
Son Brandon Hunter, 29, is back for his second-straight WBC stint at centrefield for Canada, Graham Allard, 28, who is married to the Hunters' daughter Kayla, is pitching for the national squad, having playing in the 2009 WBC for the Prince George Axemen, and Phil and Cheryl's nephew Chris Clark, 26, is making his WBC debut as a reserve outfielder.
Canada is in a tough position as the host team, having lost its first three games and there's no doubt the players are feeling the pressure but that didn't seem to bother Brandon Hunter, who looked right at home playing centrefield and swinging his bat. He launched a missle over the wall in Canada's opening-game loss to the U.S. on Tuesday.
"He thrives on this type of ball, he always did, ever since he was a little boy," said Phil Hunter. "The more pressure on him, the better he seems to like it. It's just good to see him wear the maple leaf. He's always dreamt about wearing that and now he's playing with family members. It's all family here. It doesn't get any better than that."
Until the WBC began, the three from Prince George have been playing against each other this summer in the Prince George Senior Baseball Association. Now they're teammates, trying to win games for their country in front of big crowds at Citizen Field.
"It's special to play for Team Canada, it means a lot and it's nice to play with the calibre of the guys who are here," said Allard, who pitched in the ninth inning in Canada's 13-6 loss to the U.S. "When you're playing for a hometown crowd where you've got the support you need to up your game a bit and it's kind of nice playing against these international stars. Brandon's had a couple hits now and it's just real nice to see him do well."
Allard was a starting pitcher for the Axemen when they beat The Bahamas in the 2009 WBC. He wasn't the winning pitcher that game but he'll always remember the three innings he pitched. He didn't play Thursday when Canada lost 9-0 to Japan and he expects his team will get much better as the tournament progresses.
"Nobody likes to get skunked 9-0, especially in front of your hometown fans," said Allard. "We just need to tighten up our defence and get some quality hits."
Clark saw his first WBC action Tuesday when played one inning at right field late in the U.S. game. As one of the older players on a team of up-and-coming college players, Clark doesn't expect to play that much. He's been using his time in the dugout to study the other teams on the field and is impressed by the differences in game strategy in his WBC opponents.
"You see a lot of different styles in the way teams like the Japanese and Chinese Taipei play and ," said Clark. "It's pretty cool to see how the game is played in different countries. You watch these guys play when you're young and then when you get to wear the jersey when you've got all your friends and family coming out to watch it's pretty special.
"I'm just lucky to be here on the same field with these guys and I'll be ready when it comes but until then I'll just keep watching and keep cheering and hopefully we'll turn it around."